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Report: Marlins contacted the Rays about Jake Odorizzi

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The Marlins had “preliminary contact” with the Rays about starter Jake Odorizzi, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Currently holding the first of two Wild Card slots in the National League, the Marlins are looking for both starting and relief pitching upgrades.

Odorizzi, 26, has had a solid season, compiling a 3.63 ERA with an 82/27 K/BB ratio in 84 1/3 innings. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, which will allow him to command a significant pay raise over the $520,700 he’s earning this year. The right-hander can become a free agent after the 2019 season.

The front of the Marlins’ rotation has been solid with Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Adam Conley. However, offseason addition Wei-Yin Chen has struggled to a 5.22 ERA in his first 14 starts, Justin Nicolino put up a 5.17 ERA in 10 starts, and Jarred Cosart has surrendered 13 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over three starts. Solidifying the middle and back of the rotation would certainly help the Marlins.

It isn’t shocking that the Rays would consider moving Odorizzi. A small market club, the Rays have typically traded away their talented players once they’re eligible for arbitration. The Rays also entered play Monday in last place at 31-36. While the record isn’t horrendous, the AL East is arguably the toughest division in baseball, so they would have their work cut out for them if they were to commit to contending.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.